Vacation Part One: Nickelodeon Hotel

by Christopher on August 22, 2012

Before our Disney cruise, we planned a secret stop at Nickelodeon Hotel so Evan could see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in person.  While waiting for our flight, Evan had some fun playing in the airplane kids lounge.

We finally got into Florida without any problems.  On the flight I decided to tell Evan we would be meeting the ninja turtles.  Although he seemed excited, he wasn’t as excited as I thought he would be.  He seemed pretty excited on the taxi ride to the hotel (for the most part).

Upon reaching the hotel, I think Evan realized we really going to hang out with the ninja turtles.

Unfortunately they didn’t have ninja turtle rooms, it was either Sponge Bob or Dora.  Evan was quite disappointed he didn’t get a “Sponge Bob” bed and it was just a wall painting.

Didn’t take much to cheer him up…

Off to check out the water park…

We went to an uneventful dinner, although we got to see Sponge Bob and Patrick in the water on the way there.

I had set us up for the character breakfast for both mornings.  It was mainly Sponge Bob & Dora and their friends (Blues Clue, Patrick, Ming Ming, and so on).  Evan thought it was pretty funny to pull Sponge Bob’s tooth.

Evan got to meet Blue.


He really liked Ming Ming even though he tried to eat Evan’s head.


Squidward was, well Squidward…

I think Evan’s favorite character during breakfast was Patrick.  He really liked Ming Ming but he liked doing the “Star Fish” with Patrick and kept watching him throughout breakfast.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

It was dinner time on our second day, off to meet the turtles.  Evan drew each of the turtles and wanted to give them to each turtle.




We first got to meet Michelangelo who we had a lot of fun with.  Although Leonardo is Evan’s favorite, Mikey was the most energetic and engaged the most.  We first met Mikey when they did their entrance and then asked everyone to come pick a turtle to practice ninja moves with.  Michelangelo was right near our table so we went there.


Small pizza break…


Then Donatello came to our table.  All the turtles seemed to like giving Evan noogies which after about two of the turtles did it he was perfectly happy to get.


And then the oddest thing happened…  Mikey came stumbling by like he was sleep walking and walked to the mirror behind our table and just stared at it.  After a few laughs he started to breathe on it and star at it sideways.  Evan thought this was so funny and was pretty close to the best thing that happened on the entire vacation.  We laughed about it a few nights after.  He then came and sat down with us right across from Evan eyeing his pizza.

At this point Leonardo came to our table, but he was no match for Mikey’s antics Evan really liked seeing him.   Oh and Evan grabbed his mouth, which he thought was quite funny.


Finally we got to meet Raphael.  Not much happened here, a little waving, and some confusion, but no noogies.


We stayed for a little and watched another one of their shows start over. I knew what was coming next…




Feeding Fred yet again!

by Christopher on July 13, 2010


Back from Maine

by Christopher on August 16, 2009

We went to Maine for a couple of days and just got back on Friday.  Had a lot of fun, my favorite part was when Evan caught a ball for the first time.  We played catch a few times and have been playing ever since he got back.  It is amazing how moving it is to see your son catch a ball for the first time.  Evan had the most fun in the small kiddie pool, although he did go into the big boy pool a few times.  He was not very happy in the bigger pool and kept insisting he goes back into the kiddie pool.


Our trip to Universal Studios

by Christopher on March 22, 2009

I went through and picked a good selection of pictures from our trip to Orlando, Florida.   We only took our video recorder when we went to Universal Studios, so I will post videos of that separately soon (I hope).

All three of us had a great time, it was pretty hot for me but only in the 80’s which is about 30 degrees hotter than I like.  I was amazed at how many ducks everywhere we went.   Even at the pool, we actually swam with ducks!  There also were a lot of gecko type of things on the hotel grounds.

Evan really enjoyed taking the boat back and forth from the hotel and City Walk.  Evan was saying “Ride The Boat” which was quite funny.  Sometimes we would take the boat back and forth just for Evan.

Evan saying “Ride the Boat”

[Audio:ridetheboat.mp3|titles=”ride the boat”]

On Friday Scooby came to visit people eating dinner at the hotel, Evan thought this was great.   He was kind of shy and didn’t want to really get to close to Scooby and took some convincing just to get him to give him “five”.  But Evan kept following him around and laughing, jumping, and throwing his hands up in the air he was so excited.   One of the times I regret not having a camera with me, it was so funny.   It is even funnier to hear him say “Scooby”.

Evan saying “Scooby”


Evan did really well on the plane, although on the flight back near the end he lost his patience.  But he did sleep a good hour and a half of the flight.  Going to Florida he didn’t sleep but he did really well only occasionally kicking the chair in front of him.

The hotel room was really nice, we had the best room in the place I think.   There was only like 5 balconies in the whole place and we had one of the two double balconies.   We also had a separate shower and bath tub, so that was really nice.  Although I was not a big fan of the 4 hour wait for our room to be cleaned when we got there.  Check in is at 4pm, an hour later than most places, but most of the time you can check in as early as 12pm.

We stayed in the “beach pool” most of the time, it was the one in the picture below.  Evan preferred to play in the sand with his shovel than actually go in the water, although he did go in a few times with  me and occasionally Jean he spent most of his time playing in the sand.  He did love walking around the pool though, he would been perfectly happy spending all five days walking around the pool and going up and down all the steps.  Poor Jean was chasing around a lot.

One of the nights I wore my khakis pants and a nicer shirt to one of the nicer restaurants at the hotel and the waiter spilled a soda all over my pants and shirt.  A little frustrating as the last time I took Jean to a nice place, they spilled a lemon drop martini on my crotch.  Needless to say, I am not a fan of fancy restaurants and believe you get better food and service in restaurants like T-Bones and the Texas Roadhouse on average.

Evan ate fish (talapia) for the first time while we were there.   If you know me, you know I am “allergic” to fish and cannot even stand the look or smell of it.  He didn’t want to eat it at the resturant (like most of his meals while we were there), but when we got to the hotel he ate it right up sitting on the balcony.

We were not sure if we were going to go to the Universal Studios park, but Jean really wanted to so we ended up going.  Although I was exhausted and hot, I had a lot more fun than I expected.  Evan really enjoyed the rides, we started on the ET ride.  I really loved the ET ride, I wasn’t a huge fan of the movie or anything but it was just a fun experience.  We went to Shrek 4D which I thought was awesome “3d” like motion movie.  Jean insisted we go to the Jimmy Neutron ride, this wasn’t all that great.   It was just basically like a movie/roller coaster and Evan and Jean had to sit in the stationary seats up front.   They also asked me to move from the first moving seat behind them to the next one day so another group could be together.  This was just basically a salt and pepper ride with a movie linked into it.

All three of us really enjoyed the Doctor Seuss rides, I think Evan went on the carousel 3 times.  I regret not being able to go on the Mummy ride, I really love haunted rides like that and it looked so good from the video I saw in the hotel.  I would also have loved to check out the spiderman and terminator rides.   We only had a day pass and it was really hot.

One of the first places we went in the park was the Curious George area, this was one of the main reasons we even went.  I was not very impressed with it, it was fun and nice and all but there was very little Curious George.   A few big plastic books at the entrance, and a Curious George statue, but then it was a cartoon town with no real reference to Curious George at all.  It is a great park event, but just no real tie to Curious George is my only complaint.  There is a really fun ball room where you pick up balls and  put them in vacuum driven machines.  Balls are flying everywhere, I think Evan had a lot of fun here and I wish we stayed here longer.

There was a Woody Woodpecker train ride he really wanted to go on but he was just too short, it required 36″.  He did get to go on the Dr. Seuss sky ride that required 34″, but he just barely made that, questionable even he really did but they let him on anyway.

I had a lot of fun, but it is really nice to be back home.  It was really exhausting taking Evan out three meals a day for five days.  Although he is amazingly well behaved, he is still very curious and wants to move all over the place.  I think Jean had the most fun at Margaritaville, it was a nice outdoors dining room with live entertainment.  We were planning on getting there again but ended up at the Nascar restaurant.  We hit the Hard Rock cafe (largest in the world they say) the day before, I wasn’t all that impressed.

I think we are planning on going back in a couple of years when Evan is a little older.

I will likely update this post later on and add in the video from the park once I have a chance to rip and edit it.


What a view!

by Christopher on March 20, 2009

Another panoramic I made was the view from our balcony room on the sixth floor of the Portofino Hotel.  Again, extremely scaled down from the original image.